Tag Archives: United Nations

Freedom must prevail if world peace is to exist

By Dennis Jamison – This year, the U.N. became 68 years old. As a global institution, that is a long time. The U.N. has outlived the League of Nations by over twice the years of its existence.

Practical expectations of many people in the world are that the U.N. is the international organization responsible for maintaining peace upon the planet. But wise and perceptive people are quite aware that this is a false expectation based upon the evidence of history. The United Nations is incapable of fulfilling its primary purpose of promoting and perpetuating world peace, yet there is essential value in the existence of a global body permitting the many nations of the world relatively equal say in the destiny of humankind. more> http://tinyurl.com/ksyoemn

Gallery

U.S. Refuses to Sign ITU Treaty Over Internet Provisions

By Chloe Albanesius – The United States said today (Dec 13, Thu) that it will not sign an international telecommunications treaty thanks to the inclusion of Internet-related provisions. According to the BBC, the U.K. and Canada have also pledged not … Continue reading

Updates from Senator Barbara Boxer

CONGRESS WATCH

Bitter struggle over Internet regulation to dominate global summit

By Joseph Menn – The 12-day conference of the International Telecommunications Union, a 147-year-old organization that’s now an arm of the United Nations, largely pits revenue-seeking developing countries and authoritarian regimes that want more control over Internet content against U.S. policymakers and private Net companies that prefer the status quo.

While specifics of some of the most contentious proposals remain secret, leaked drafts show that Russia is seeking rules giving individual countries broad permission to shape the content and structure of the Internet within their borders, while a group of Arab countries is advocating universal identification of Internet users. Some developing countries and telecom providers, meanwhile, want to make content providers pay for Internet transmission. more> http://tinyurl.com/ce97khe

Why is the UN Trying to Take over the Internet?

By Larry Downes – 193 member nations and hundreds of non-voting private members will meet in Dubai for the World Conference on International Telecommunications, or WCIT. The goal of the WCIT is to finalize changes to the International Telecommunications Regulations.

The last major revisions to the ITRs were ratified in 1988, long before the rise of the commercial Internet. But with months to go before proposed changes to the ITR are closed, member nations and private members of the ITU have already begun lobbying for a vast expansion of Internet powers, including new network taxes, mandatory censorship technologies disguised as security measures, and efforts to undermine the Internet’s longstanding engineering-based governance processes. more> http://tinyurl.com/8zgq93y

US will fight ITU members for internet domination

Plaque on the ICANN (Internet Corporation for ...

Plaque on the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) head office, Del Rey, California, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Brid-Aine Parnell – The US has made it clear that it won’t be letting control of the internet slip out of ICANN‘s hands anytime soon.

The US Department of State released the country’s proposals for the World Conference on International Telecommunications on its website, where the threat of attempts by Russia and others to wrest the web from the US body was obliquely answered. Slipped in among its recommendations was that the “voluntary nature of compliance with ITU-T Recommendations [be maintained].” more> http://tinyurl.com/dyqqehg

The Arch Enemies of the Internet Defense League

English: Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General ...

English: Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Art Brodsky – There’s lots of opposition to ITU stepping in because, in the view of many opponents, approval of some proposals could be seen as giving countries like Russia some cover to conduct crackdowns on human rights and political opponents through restrictions on Internet access or surveillance.

The conference at which the ITU proposals may be discussed isn’t happening until December, but Russia decided not to wait. They passed their own law anyway that would allow the government to black list and shut down Web sites for things like child porn (a familiar reason anywhere) but which others say will be used to curb dissent.

Assuming that government remains the enemy, then who should be responsible for censoring and distorting the Internet when needed? The private sector, in the form of the Big Telecom/Media cartel, nominates itself. more> http://tinyurl.com/clxbn4q

Stop Balkanizing the Internet

By Marietje Schaake – China, Iran and Cuba are notorious for building electronic walls that cut off Internet users. These de facto ‘intranets‘ are governed by strict terms of use that regulate access to information and monitor all Internet traffic. The balkanization of the Internet is looming.

At the UN level there’s the “Internet Governance Forum,” which co-exists with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) which was established in 1865. It is in these forums that governments and businesses are waging an ongoing battle to regain influence and power online.

In the ITU, for example, authoritarian regimes are gaining ground by ‘buying’ the votes of developing countries. Draft regulations and proposals that aim for centralized control to fight cybercrime or to regulate information services are submitted and discussed. These measures would seriously hamper the online freedom of Internet users. more> http://tinyurl.com/84wmokj

U.N. Telecom Agency Releases Secret Treaty, Critics Unswayed

By Carl Franzen – The International Telecommunications Union, the official United Nations telecommunications agency on Friday (July 13) announced that it would soon be making public a document that could determine the future of the Internet, a document that had previously been restricted only to government officials and selected paying members.

“What would make the WCIT process truly transparent is release of all country proposals as they are provided to the ITU,” Rashmi Rangnath, an attorney from Public Knowledge said. “This would allow everyone to see how the process of negotiation is evolving and respond to proposals that are most current.” more> http://tinyurl.com/86eovqk

Leaked Proposals Set Stage for UN Squabble Over Internet Freedom

By Richard Adhikari – The United States is battling over proposed United Nations regulations that could place new burdens and restrictions on Internet companies and users.

One U.S. objection to this proposal, though, is that its wording could let a country repress political opposition and cite the ITRs for support. Another is that it appears to contradict Article 19 of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This states that everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers.

However, the U.S. government itself monitors and regulates Internet use, so “some of Congress‘ statements about WCIT have a strong odor of hypocrisy,” said Eli Dourado, a research fellow at the George Mason University Mercatus Center. more> http://tinyurl.com/7oxtr34